The Napthine Government and its planning star Matthew Guy have completely botched their flagship Fishermans Bay urban renewal project.
What Mr Guy promised was superb, high-density living just south of the CBD, providing for residents of all incomes. But because of bad planning decisions, what is taking shape is a high-rise area for high rollers only. With planning stuff-ups like this, it is little wonder the Napthine Government which is fighting for its first-term survival.
The Sunday Age rightly editorialised of the Napthine/Guy proposal for Fishermans Bend, “How not to plan”, and said the plan for affordable housing “has crumpled under the weight of state government inaction”. Mr Guy’s poor zoning decisions has led to the area’s property prices sky-rocketing, with opportunistic developers shattering any dream of affordable housing just south of the CBD. Worse, The Age revealed that strategic purchases of once affordable space had been forgone for “free market” ideology. According to The Age, Mr Guy ignored advice from Places Victoria to buy appropriate land in the area while prices were still low. As The Age points out, the state government is repeating all the mistakes made in the development of the Docklands, by another Liberal government.
Instead of following the independent advice they’ve been given, Matthew Guy is rushing through the Fishermans Bend development Bend without a clue. As Matthew Guy amazingly tweeted himself, “Every apartment approved in Fisherman’s Bend is one less apartment approved in a quiet, suburban street.” His rationale for cramming 80,000 people into a new high-density area is far from ideal, but at the very least, you’d hope he wouldn’t let the Liberal’s desperation to appease their supporters in Melbourne’s inner east cloud their decision-making. Clearly that isn’t the case.
As the hard-working local member for Albert Park, Martin Foley, says, “The Napthine Government is rubber-stamping high-rise towers in their rush to cram 80,000 residents into Fishermans Bend, ignoring our community’s concerns. Only Labor will work with the community to avoid the massive congestion heading our way. We only get one chance to get Fishermans Bend right.”
Sadly, Fishermans Bend is heading towards another planning disaster if the Liberals are re-elected. If voters want a high-density, wealthy-only Fishermans Bend that squeezes out ordinary Victorians, vote Liberal!
By contrast, if Dan Andrews and his team win this fight for Victoria’s future, Martin and I will do all in our power to address issues of public facilities, public transport and open space.
Header image courtesy of News Cop.